Influence of pulp bleaching and compatibilizer selection on performance of pulp fiber reinforced PLA biocomposites

Heidi Peltola*, Kirsi Immonen, Leena Sisko Johansson, Jussi Virkajärvi, David Sandquist

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This article focuses on the effect of pulp bleaching and emerging commercial compatibilizers on physical performance of pulp fiber reinforced poly(lactic acid) (PLA) biocomposites. Industrially bleached and unbleached hardwood kraft pulp fibers are treated with several additive types, and compounded with PLA to fiber content of 30 wt %. After injection molding, the produced biocomposites are evaluated by their mechanical performance and fiber–matrix adhesion. For selected materials, fiber surface and fiber properties are reflected to composite performance by analyzing the compositions, dimensions, and lignin coverage of original fibers, as well as fiber dispersion and dimensions after melt processing. As a conclusion, unbleached kraft pulp fibers provide significant improvement in physical properties of PLA/pulp fiber composites. Of the screened compatibilizers, epoxidated linseed oil has a clear positive effect on performance when bleached kraft pulp fibers are used. The improvements correspond to enhanced fiber–matrix adhesion and differences in remaining fiber length distributions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number47955
JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
Issue number37
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • adhesion
  • biocomposite
  • poly(lactic acid)
  • pulp fibers
  • wood-based fibers

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